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Originally published on 6th June 2016 Last updated on 27th June 2019
Checking your neck for enlargement (goitre), nodules and other abnormalities is important to get in to the habit of regularly, so that you can get appropriate treatment, if needed, for anything that may be cause for concern. These can include a nodule, goitre, cyst or thyroid cancer. Catching these as soon as possible is obviously most ideal.
You can check your thyroid by following the below steps.
- Stand in front of a mirror, removing anything that doesn’t give you a clear view of your neck, like jumpers and scarves.
- Stretch your neck back, with your chin pointing towards the ceiling.
- Feel where your thyroid is, and around it, very gently, to see if you can feel any enlargement, lumps or pain.
- Closely look at your neck too, looking for any enlargement or lumpiness. Swallowing some water might help to highlight anything.
- If you think you can feel something not quite right, like any enlargement, tenderness (besides the uncomfortable feeling of touching your neck area) or lumps, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to get their opinion.
If you see a doctor who insists it is nothing to worry about, you may wish to see another doctor for a second opinion. They should further examine the neck and may also order further testing such as a scan or fine needle biopsy.
For more information on goitres, nodules and enlargement, please see this article.
Do you regularly check your neck?
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and award-winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, blogger, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. She has two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Her thyroid advocacy work includes authoring books, writing articles, blogging and speaking on podcasts. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received eight 2020 WEGO Health Award Nominations.